by Lisa Nicole Bell, Executive Producer, The American Dream Revised
Entrepreneurs relish the idea of the hockey stick growth curve – exponential revenue increases with all the trappings of success to match. We usually think of things like marketing and sales as the secrets to achieving the magical growth curve, but I’ve observed a secret of massive growth that’s constantly overlooked: leaders.
Think about it: a company and its team can only be as good as its leaders. You need to be able to identify, attract, and retain talent if you’re going to build a successful company. On top of that, you need to be able to develop that talent into leaders who can guide people under them to achieve the company’s vision and perform at their best.
So what does it mean to be a growth-inducing leader?
1. You are clear about your vision and objectives.
Poor leadership is often the result of a foggy vision. So, what’s your goal? Why are you in business? What’s the big idea behind what you’re doing? The more you can articulate this for yourself, the easier is it to identify opportunities to fully exemplify these things through company policies and your decisions.
2. You know what’s important in a team.
Is it more important for you team to be creative or organized? Is it more important to be fast or perfect? The more you know what your values are, you can identify people who are the right fit for your company’s culture. When there is a values match between your company and your team, you’ll find everyone more engaged and more productive.
3. You lead by example.
Good leaders can articulate the vision and motivate people. Great leaders can embody what they teach and lead by example. As a leader, you have to constantly ask yourself if you’re setting the right example for your team. Your team will subconsciously follow your lead through your actions.
4. You delegate effectively.
I know this can be tough. As founders, we tend to think that nobody can do it quite like we can. But the reality is that there is probably someone who can do it better. Improper delegation leads to all kinds of problems like bottlenecks in internal processes and resentment from team members who are micromanaged. Make it a habit to constantly identify things you should be passing off to the team and empower them with the tools to do the job well. Then let them do it. You’ll be surprised what happens when you allow your leadership to do the managing for you.
This week, I encourage you to take inventory on yourself and your team. Are you doing the best possible job as a leader? Are you grooming leadership qualities in your team? Think about it and set some leadership-based performance goals for the next few weeks.